As we all know, Sabah is known to be famous for its rich cultural heritage and festivals. Pesta Kaamatan (locally known as Tadau Ka’amatan), a form of harvest festival, is celebrated annually by the ethnic Kadazan-Dusuns, as well as by other related ethnic groups in the state. The celebration usually lasts for the whole month of May.

According to Kadazan-Dusun lore, a famine once caused great struggles in the tribes centuries ago. At the time, villagers were on the edge of grave starvation because rice wouldn’t grow in their area. God Kinoingan showed mercy to the people and saved the Kadazan-Dusuns by sacrificing his daughter, Huminodun. He sowed her body and spirit into the soil, which then helped rice and other plants grow. Natives believed that each grain of rice contains Huminodun’s spirit, which is called Bambaazon. A series of rituals and ceremonies take place after harvest to thank the spirits and make sure the Bambaazon stays in the rice for next year.

Photos by Amazing Borneo